Tennis Tennis Australia ‘deeply regret’ impact of Djokovic saga on players, announce review

Tennis Tennis Australia ‘deeply regret’ impact of Djokovic saga on players, announce review

Tennis

tennis Marcus Foley

Tennis Australia has released a statement saying that it deeply regrets the impact recent events surrounding Novak Djokovic have had on all players.

The statement – while not referencing Novak Djokovic’s case explicitly – also added that a review after the tournament will assess all aspects of preparation and planning in the lead up to the first Grand Slam of the year.

Djokovic, 34, had initially been granted a medical exemption following a “rigorous review process” involving two separate independent panels of medical experts, organisers said. However, his visa was cancelled upon entry. The world No. 1 won an appeal but would see his visa revoked again – this time by immigration minister Alex Hawke – and then lost a second appeal.

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It is a narrative that has dominated the build-up to – and start of – the first Grand Slam of the year, and organisers have now released a statement addressing the situation and proposed next steps.

“We recognise that recent events have been a significant distraction for everyone and we deeply regret the impact this had on all players,” read the statement.

“There are always lessons to learn, and we will review all aspects of our preparation & implementation to inform our planning – as we do every year. That process always starts once the Australian Open champions have lifted their trophies,” added Tennis Australian in the statement released on Tuesday.

The decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa has denied the 34-year-old the opportunity to defend his Australian Open crown, win at Melbourne Park for a record-extending 10th time and move ahead of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s joint-record haul of 20 Grand Slams.

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